From the Tao Oracle: Hexagram 27, The Corners of the Mouth, Mountain over Lightening
The focus for this week is self-care and nourishment. So many of us feel disconnected or at war with our bodies, we feel shame that they don’t look a certain way or can’t seem to do certain things. We can feel burdened by our own bodies, often treating them as cumbersome vessels we would rather not have to look after, or at worst, feel a sense of loathing for.
This week it is time to extend your body some tlc; it is not just a means to an end or a vehicle for some distinctive or separate matter we call ‘soul’, your spirit is infused into every cell of your being, and it needs some love.
Imagine your weight in gold. Pretty valuable, huh? Even if it is hard to feel, pay special attention this week to treating yourself like you have value. Don’t put yourself down in your mind or in front of others, nurture the relationships you have with people who value you and cut out or zone out those that don’t treat you with respect; and as difficult a lesson as this can be to learn – and trust me, I learned this the hard way – know that looking to other people to nurture your sense of self-worth will always end in disappointment or heartache, no one else can nourish and complete you, like you.
How can we hope to cultivate a culture of love, compassion, acceptance and respect, if we can’t even extend these simple offerings to ourselves? Do something this week that allows you to enjoy yourself, body, mind and soul: Make a delicious meal from scratch, enjoy a hot bath, do some gentle and focused exercises, practice mindful breathing or – my personal favourite – blast out some rock music and head-bang around the house for a bit singing as loud as you want. Take joy in sensations, celebrate your wonderful body. Oftentimes even a little bit of self care can have a domino effect – tend to and nurture one little thing, even something as simple as soaking your feet or making a proper lunch, and suddenly all of you feels a lot brighter.
Of course, truly nurturing ourselves isn’t always as easy as snapping our fingers and saying ‘this week I’m going to love and nurture myself better’, so as a little talisman to aid you, I would like to offer you a bind rune from these three runes:
Dagaz is the new dawn of a fresh start, banishing negative patters and habits with its light. The sun of Sowilo offers you good health, healing, vitality and loving self-acceptance. Finally, Wunjo offers a sense of happiness, community and oneness, bringing with it the sense of joy and harmony that comes from feeling unity with all things – your highest-self, your family, community, nature and the universe.
If you wish you can draw this bind rune on a piece of paper and carry it with you this week (you could also take a screen shot and make it your mobile phone background – sorry it’s not prettier!). To activate your positive intent, I would recommend chanting the name of each rune, reflecting on its meaning as you copy it down, starting with Dagaz [DAH-gahz], then Sowilo [So-WEE-lo] and ending with Wunjo [WOON-yo]. You may also wish to sit for a moment and meditate on the feelings and images these runes evoke, such as the new hopes that come with the dawn of each day, the healing and transformative power of the light of the sun, and the sense of pure contentment we feel when we know we are connected with all things.
Alternatively, if runes aren’t your thing, take a bit of time to read about and recite Medicine Buddha’s mantra. The short-form of the mantra and the easiest to memorise is Tayata Om Bekanzhe Bekanzhe Maha Bekanzhe Radza Sumugate Soha. To help with finding a rhythm and pronunciation, this audio recording is very clear, but there are many others on YouTube you can choose to your tastes, and if you want a super healing boost you can have a go at the long-form of the mantra, here is a link to my personal favourite recitation.
If you don’t have the time to memorise and practice chanting the mantra yourself, then you can find a version you like, take a quiet moment to rest in a comfortable position, relax your body, close your eyes and let the sounds wash over you. Visualise Medicine Buddha emitting a bright light that permeates your skin and gradually fills your body with a sense of wholeness and complete wellbeing. According to tradition, this light carries the healing wisdom of Lapis Lazuli, so if you have a stone, this week would also be a good time to meditate with it and/or carry it with you.
As a final note, this will be the last of my weekly messages. I would still like to post free readings twice a month, and am currently making plans to do something a little different that I hope you all will like!
All the best xxx